According to New Jersey workers’ compensation laws, you may only claim workers’ compensation benefits if you have been injured and the injured happened while you were on the job. In most instances, there won’t be a question as to whether or not you meet both conditions as a work-related injury. There are, however, some contexts where your rights may not be as clear.
When You Are Hurt at a Company Outing or Event
If your employer has a team-building event, or your company sponsors an outing and you are injured while attending or participating, you will generally qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, with a few exceptions. If your behavior falls outside that expected of a reasonable person—assume you participate in a company golf outing and you are injured while racing a golf cart through a heavily wooded area. If your actions are deemed to fall outside what can reasonably be expected, you may be denied benefits. However, if you were drunk at the time and your employer provided the alcohol, you may have a claim.
Injuries That You Caused by Your Own Negligence or Misconduct
As a general rule, workers’ compensation benefits are paid without consideration of fault. To determine your eligibility, the workers’ compensation judge will typically only ask the two questions above: were you hurt, and did the injury occur at work. Accordingly, you may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits, even if the injury was an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. But you cannot generally recover for injuries that you intentionally inflicted on yourself.
Contact Our Office
If you or someone you love has been injured in New Jersey because of someone else’s negligence, we can help you seek full and fair compensation for your losses. For a private meeting with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at 732-247-3600 or in Somerville at 908-448-2560.